Developing Interdisciplinary Research and Services for Tropical Cyclones

The WMO World Weather Research Programme (WWRP) has launched the Tropical Cyclone-Probabilistic Forecast Products (TC-PFP) project in response to recommendations from the 9th WMO International Workshop on Tropical Cyclones (IWTC) in 2018. Held every four years, IWTC brings together forecasters, researchers and academia from all over the world to review the latest developments, identify needs and plan future work. The TC-PFP project articulates IWTC recommendations pertaining to the replacement of static “cones of uncertainty” (i.e., the probable track of the centre of a storm) with dynamic cones that incorporate model ensemble forecasts and include social science aspects in basic meteorological training.

Moving toward more hazard- and impact-based forecasting products, the TC-PFP project comprises three phases:

  1. tropical cyclone formation and position
  2. tropical cyclone intensity and structure
  3. tropical cyclone related rainfall and storm surge.

The first phase is underway and aims at identifying best practices of a value-cycle approach that recognizes users as valuable partners in co-designing information for a variety of situations. A three-day online workshop in June identified best practices for the probabilistic forecasts of tropical cyclone formation and position. The well-over 100 participants from some 16 countries included scientists working on ensemble predictions, forecasters from the Tropical Cyclone Regional Specialized Meteorological Centres (TC-RSMCs) and social scientists. The workshop discussed the full value cycle of probabilistic forecasts of tropical cyclone formation and position, including cutting-edge techniques, understanding and communicating forecasts and the available resources for producing probabilistic forecasts. Data access was a big part of the discussion as well as the possibilities for building a database where users can retrieve relevant data in a stable and timely manner. The progress of the TC-PFP project will be reported during the next session of IWTC, currently scheduled to take place at the end of 2022.

WWRP aims to demonstrate the principles of Science for Services – science contributing to decision-making to mitigate the impacts of extreme events and climate change on lives and livelihoods. This approach necessitates valuable work and input from scientists, forecasters and social scientists – to know how to communicate warnings to the relevant users.

This project was developed in collaboration with the WMO Research Board (through WWRP), its Commission for Observation, Infrastructure and Information Systems (InfCom), (TC-PFP is also a Global Data-Processing and Forecasting System pilot project) and its Commission for Weather, Climate, Water and Related Environmental Services and
(SerCom) (through the TC-RSMCs). Visit the WWRP TC-PFP community platform webpage for more information about this project.

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